SABIC and PDI evaluated how well SABIC’s thermoplastics withstand repeated exposure to a surface disinfectant product to help prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
The results of a joint study on the environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) of SABIC’s thermoplastic materials used for medical device enclosures have been published, and will reportedly provide manufacturers with “new options” when it comes to materials choices.
Conducted in conjunction with PDI, a producer of infection prevention products and solutions for the healthcare industry, the study evaluated how well SABIC’s thermoplastics withstand repeated exposure to PDI’s Super Sani-Cloth wipes, a widely-used surface disinfectant product to help prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
The companies collaborated to establish a testing procedure following ASTM D543 guidelines, and applied more stringent compatibility criteria compared to other benchmarks often used in the industry.
The study revealed that several of SABIC’s product technologies – including Lexan EXL polycarbonate (PC) resin, Xylex (PC/polyester blend) resin and Valox polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin – deliver improved compatibility with PDI’s hospital-grade disinfectant.
SABIC has published the study findings in its brochure, Resistance + Durability: Chemical Resistance Performance Testing for Healthcare Materials. Also featured in the brochure is a new section, “Designing for ESCR,” which describes why following best practices in injection moulding processing and designs can be instrumental in reducing moulded-in stress, a key contributor to ESCR performance.
“Combatting HAIs is greatly important for hospitals, but if materials are not appropriately selected for the healthcare environment, the frequent application of cleaning chemicals can cause device enclosures to crack prematurely, which can lead to increased maintenance costs for healthcare providers,” said Cathleen Hess, Healthcare business leader for SABIC.
“SABIC and PDI are committed to supporting the healthcare industry with information about compatibility between medical enclosure materials and commonly-used disinfectants. Our joint study highlights the complex issue of environmental stress cracking, and provides valuable insights to help our customers make informed material selection decisions.”
Cheryl Moran, Senior Director of Portfolio Management, PDI Infection Prevention, added: “By guiding manufacturers towards plastics that are better suited for the specific disinfecting requirements of each medical device, our study benefits both medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers, ultimately benefiting the patient, who can be protected from potential adverse events resulting from damaged or improperly disinfected equipment. Continuing our collaboration with SABIC and medical equipment manufacturers will enable even further insights as additional technologies emerge.”